Over the weekend, via Instagram pictures, Twitter, and an article by Jerry Carino, Rutgers sent word that change was finally coming to the venerable Louis Athletic Center.
While on its best days, the RAC is one of the greatest home court advantages in the country, there are parts of it that are extremely outdated--even by high school standards. The scoreboard is pretty much only good for keeping score (don't ask how many timeouts a team has left). The sound system is either inaudible or ready to make your eardrums explode, depending on the night (or sometimes, even on the same night). Change needed to come, and before he was ousted, Tim Pernetti had set forth a plan to renovate the RAC and bring it up to speed.
Julie Hermann, now at the controls, has made sure that's started to happen. Over the weekend, the old scoreboard came down. Expected to be completed in early September, the RAC will have a brand new state of the art scoreboard, new corner score-keeping signs, and a brand new soundsystem. That's right, the RAC is joining the 21st century.
Why is this important?
For one, it will really help the gameday experience of the fans. You'll know which players are playing, you will be able to see some replays on the video board, and you'll be able to hear announcements.
Next, it's got to give AAU coaches and recruits some reassurance. Step 1 is underway, which means the plans to renovate the RAC are underway. Rutgers is going to try and keep up with the Joneses (and you know, all those teams that have really nice practice facilities.). Plus, the kids will get to see their name up in lights when they're announced. That'll be cool.
It shows that Rutgers really wants to make a step toward the big time in basketball. It's a small step, and hopefully its not the only one. This new scoreboard will add advertising revenue and hopefully, intrigue more people to donate toward the full renovation. It shows people that Rutgers is serious about making changes.
And, it appears, Julie Hermann is serious too. She's moved out of her office into a cubicle, and given Eddie Jordan her office. She's making sure all the teams have offices in the RAC, before the renovations are being made. She knows she can't be the face of the athletic department.
Instead, that has to be the coaches, specifically, Jordan, Kyle Flood and C. Vivian Stringer. Hermann is getting out of the way, and letting her coaches coach as easily as possible.
If you're keeping score at home, the RAC scored some major points over the weekend. Hopefully, they'll keeping building.